Monday, May 19, 2014

The Weekly Chatter For May 19, 2014


ParaChat's Rich History

 This year, ParaChat software turns 18 years old! Not quite old enough to drink (legally), but certainly old enough to drive, vote, and be a responsible adult. Much like Willy Wonka preferred to pass the chocolatier torch to a child rather than to an adult, ParaChat software usage demographics seem to perpetually reside with the young at body, and thus at heart. This youthful fuel inspires our development, but not without pangs of nostalgia that creep through our middle school play yard periodically. As ParaChat enters the right of passage into its own next phase of existence, it's worth taking a glimpse backwards so our path forward is not paved with forgotten lessons, but rather with hardened lessons learned.

ParaChat was born in 1996, the brainchild of Paralogic Software Corporation in Fremont, California. That is where the "Para" in "ParaChat" originates. Legend has it that ParaChat was originally conceived as a live chat solution for visitors to The Hindu, a large English language daily news publication headquartered in Chennai, India, to interact. Realizing the business model, ParaChat was launched at Comdex Las Vegas in November of 1996, and the chat service soon blossomed into an advertising platform for 50,000 sites by August 1997. By December 1997, it had doubled to 100,000 sites, and was a Top 100 Web Site. In 1998, ParaChat included its own Java Ad Distribution System for its chat service, which caught the eye of leading e-commerce and online communities site, Xoom.com. Xoom.com acquired the Free ParaChat Network from Paralogic in March 1998, the largest chat network on the Internet at the time. The acquisition of the Free ParaChat Network increased Xoom.com's membership to 400,000, and by June 1999, Xoom.com acquired Paralogic Software Corporation.

With ParaChat fully under the wing of Xoom.com, a three-way merger between Xoom.com, CNet's Snap.com and General Electric's NBC unit, closed in October 1999, which formed NBC Internet (NBCi.com). ParaChat software was continuously developed at NBCi until NBCi went the way of the dodo when the dot-com bubble burst in April 2001. ParaChat was subsequently rescued from the flames of dissolution by M Square Inc., a Delaware corporation doing business in the San Francisco Bay Area as ParaChat Group, which seamlessly took the reins of ParaChat software live on July 4th weekend of 2001. ParaChat software has been continuously developed and licensed by ParaChat Group ever since (and we still own the paralogic.com domain name too!)

This Summer: Java 8 Coming to a Browser Near You! 

Java SE 8 was released in March 2014. However, neither the Java verification tool on the Java.com web site, nor the Java auto-update program on your computer, are currently updating Java to Java 8. The most recent version of Java recommended by Oracle through these mechanisms is Java 7 Update 55.

In the Product Management blog post by the Java Platform Group that announced the release of Java 8, it said, "End-users will not be auto-updated to Java SE 8, nor will it be available from Java.com until a future (currently undetermined) date." But Mark Reinhold, the Chief Architect of the Java Platform Group at Oracle, commented on his own blog post in March that, "We're very conservative with java.com auto-updates. We'll switch that over to JDK 8 in a few months." So keep an eye out for Java 8 at some point this summer. It's coming!

Bitcoin Awareness Targets Young Entrepreneur and College Students

ParaChat began accepting Bitcoin as a payment method in November 2013. We began accepting Bitcoin for a variety of reasons. We are interested in the technology, we want our customers to have a broad choice of payment methods, we want customers to have an inexpensive and fast way to transfer payment, and we want to open the purchase of our services up to anyone in the world who may not have access to a bank account, credit card or PayPal account. But perhaps the biggest reason was to promote awareness of Bitcoin to our customer and user base. Two Bitcoin awareness stories resonated with us this week that we'd like to share.

On May 14, Coinbase, a digital wallet service in San Francisco, announced in a blog post that they were gifting $10 worth of Bitcoin to college students who sign up for their service using their .edu email address. Coinbase said they were inspired by the MIT Bitcoin Project, who had raised enough money to give all 4,500 new MIT undergraduates $100 worth of Bitcoin each this fall. We encourage college students to sign up!

Australian Bitcoin company, CoinJar, recently announced that it was helping fund the Pozible campaign of Madeleine Scott, a 19-year-old organic egg farmer. CoinJar is donating Bitcoin so that Madeleine can purchase an egg-grading machine that will reduce 28 weekly hours of manual egg cleaning down to an hour or two. Not only is CoinJar donating Bitcoin, they are matching Bitcoin donations up to $10,000.

ParaChat Feature In Focus: Chat Room Admin Console

Control and configure your ParaChat rooms on-the-fly using the room-based Admin Console, a tabbed graphic user interface. Admin users are conveniently prompted to load the Admin Console when they first log into a ParaChat room. The Admin Console is used by admin users to execute key commands and functions vital to maintaining a pleasing, orderly and productive chat environment. Unlike other chat services, access to this feature is included at no cost with our free ParaChat BasicPlus service, and included in the software license fee of our paid services. No additional fee is required! More information...

Keep chatting, and see you next week!

The ParaChat Team

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